Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – “Rome” (2011)

May 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A review of this excellent new album by Jon Falcone, from the MusicOMH website, May 16th…

Danger Mouse, aka Brian Burton, is certainly no stranger to treating music as a self-contained environment, a place that doesn’t exist but which sends the listener to another realm for a while to escape. His new album Rome is as Ennio Morricone might have dreamed it; an expanse of marble vistas with cowboys shooting around fountains and coliseums. With the music co-directed by composer Daniele Luppi, the arrangements throughout are spot on Morricone tributes, from the rousing strings and voices of his work with Sergio Leone to the clinking xylophone that made The Untouchables bearable, the supporting orchestration adds gallons of sumptuous depth to Burton’s ever-loving retro guitar twangs and organ pushes.

A supporting vocal cast deliver with surprisingly rousing results as well. Maybe less surprisingly Jack White scratches his voice with aplomb to the tone of the outsider. “Two Versus One” sets him firmly as the impending Read the rest of this entry »

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ESG – “Dance to the Best of ESG” (2010)

May 21, 2011 at 9:27 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review of the recent 2-CD compilation of ESG’s influential, singular skeletal art-funk comes from the Pitchfork Media website — written by Joe Tangari, Jan. 31, 2011…

All their mother wanted was to keep them off the streets. The Scroggins sisters came of age in a South Bronx eviscerated by Robert Moses’ Cross Bronx Expressway — a neighborhood carved up by projects and abandoned by government. Their mother bought them instruments in the hope that her girls might devote themselves to music and stay out of trouble. And they did. Her deal with them stipulated they had to give her a performance every week, and the band the teenaged sisters formed (with occasional minor assistance from a few neighborhood guys) became ESG. The “E” and “S” stand for emerald and sapphire, the birthstones of Valerie and Renee Scroggins. The “G” is for gold, which is what they wanted their records to be certified.

The gold records never came, but something even more unexpected did: The band developed a sound unlike any other and quite by accident became a major influence on hip-hop, dance music, and dance-punk, fitting right in with New York City’s arty downtown scene and the UK’s vibrant post-punk explosion. Their 1981 debut EP, recorded by Martin Hannett after the band Read the rest of this entry »

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